Sony Digital Camera Forums

Digital Photography Equipment => Lighting, Flashes, Strobes and Studio Gear => Topic started by: Numpty on November 16, 2008, 10:56:46 PM

Title: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Numpty on November 16, 2008, 10:56:46 PM
Looking at the sony "36" flash for about 85 pounds good price?

When using my tamron 90 macro at 1:1 the lens is too long for the on camera flash will the extra height of the 36 allow me to illuminate the close subject?

Can i fire this flash without it being on the camera and does the on camera have to flash?

Thanks all in advance.
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Simon [aka springtide] on November 16, 2008, 11:05:29 PM

Not sure I can answer your questions, but re: 36

First thing is that is doesn't do manual.  I think if you select manual you get full power.  Might not be an issue or it might be.

You should be able to use a cable to trigger the flash, unless you want to use the 'wireless option' via the pop-up flash.  The issue with the wireless is that is only seems to work in low light at short distances.

You can trigger via radio triggers, but it's not worth it due to the cost of the FS-1200 adapters (if you can find them!) and triggers.

Th 56's have full manual control, which I think is more useful.
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Numpty on November 16, 2008, 11:25:44 PM
I dont tend to shoot in manual mode more just apperture as i am still learning so not a problem and it sounds good that i can fire off the camera does this still do all the metering etc?
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: dominicall on November 16, 2008, 11:56:52 PM
Hi Numpty

Hope the below helps.

I posted some butterfly shots recently taken with the Tamron 90mm with flash. I was using the 58 flash anywhere between 60 and 90 degree bounce using the bounce card, with flash mode set to pre-flash TTL.

There's no in built-in bounce card on the 36 I understand but it's pretty easy to make one - see here (http://photosorcery.blogspot.com/2007/09/diy-photography-better-bounce-card.html).

With pre-flash TTL the flash should fire at the correct power for the shot and would give you the results you want.  You can see the two butterfly posts here (http://www.dynaxdigital.com/index.php/topic,7481.0.html) and here (http://www.dynaxdigital.com/index.php/topic,7482.0.html).

I love the Tamron - a great lens - happy shooting with it.

Dominic
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Stef. on November 17, 2008, 01:58:25 AM
(1) You can get the following flash cable: Minolta OC-1100 which connects the flash via cable to the hotshoe mount. You can then use the flash on a little stand approx 80 cm away from the camera. If you use a silk stocking in beige or white you can diffuse your flash as much as you need.
(2) I am not sure which camera you use but you can also put the flash onto the camera > then turn camera on and flash on > set in your camera menu the flash to wireless > turn both off > take the flash from the camera put it onto a stand> turn both back on > raise the little on-camera flash and trigger the flash wireless
(3) You can get an adapter called Minolta FS1100 which mounts onto your camera's hotshoe onto which you can mount a little adapter with sync lead connection: now here you have two choices or even more: (a) just put any flash onto the adapter- just check the voltage so that you don't blow it up- but any cheap flash might do the trick and youcan shoot with it (b) and here it gets interesting: with that cheap flash you can trigger any amount of other flashes as long as they have a little slave cell attached. This slave cell some call it "eye" attaches to any flash with sync port via a little sync lead (cost about $20). In other words you can put up let's say 5 flashes with little sync cables and slave cells all over your room. Once you trigger the on board flash (be careful to set in your menu to no pre-flash or turn red-eye reduction off as it pre-flashes) all other flashes sync. Now this sound more complicated as it actually is! These little slave cells actually save you a radio trigger. I use them a lot.

I hope this was helpful? The above are the three methods I usually use when not operating my studio flash.

Stef.
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Simon [aka springtide] on November 17, 2008, 11:50:52 AM

FYI

[OPs Sig states camera = A300]

I don't think the A200/A300/A350 has a manual flash control in the camera (options are only ADI or TTL, no Manual flash control).

I'm pretty sure that I found that even when setting my A700 camera to 'Manual', the A700 still does pre-lash when using the pop-up flash. (I was getting black shots when triggering studio strobes with their built-in slave triggers, even though the strobes appeared to be firing).

So if you want to trigger slave flashes, you need to use a non minolta/sony flash with the FS-1100 adapter (which is a pain if you want to mix sony and other brand flashes)
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Numpty on November 17, 2008, 07:29:20 PM
Very helpful everyone thanks alot it seems it will do all i require from it.
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Stef. on November 17, 2008, 08:19:08 PM
O.K. here we go: the proof of my statement above:

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3223/3038277489_b73a0fed33_o.jpg)
Sony A700 used with on-board flash to trigger an expensive Metz 45 CL3 flash and an extremely cheap Centon F.G.3.0.D flash (somewhere around $10). In the menu of the A700 I set the flash to manual. Regarding Springtide's comment: If you set it to pre-flash ttl you can trigger the Metz flash but not the cheaper Centon. In other words if you have no manual setting in the A300 or 350 there are still a lot of flashes out there that you can trigger with pre-flash ttl! Please alsosee the little slave cell attached to the non-Sony flashes!

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3035/3039115250_42e7a7e905_o.jpg)

This time I used a HVL F58 AM flash and not the on-camera flash to trigger the other two flashes. The Sony flash was attached to the hotshoe via the mentioned cable and you can see it in the foreground to the left. This time the camera was set to manual priority instead of A or S and in the menu the flash was set to manual finally I also set the Sony flash itself to manual. So set all you can to manual ;) So you see this works as well.

Now to last points:
a) before you ask how to control the output of the different flashes used. Well- stockings; bounce of walls; white plastic bags; umbrellas; bounce of white/coloured sheets of paper; put baking paper in front of the flash and last but not least the most important: you control the output by the distance of the flash to the subject you photograph and often you can control the output directly on the flash i.e my Metz flashes can do that the Centon as it is too cheap can't :P

b) wireless flash CAN NOT be used in connection with non-Sony flashes BUT considering the fact that there are tons of cheap flashes out there and the slave cells cost you around 15$ this is the much cheaper version and frankly I have 5 Sony flashes and around well plenty of non-Sony flashes including three Metz. The wireless system does not work as well in my opinion as the slave cells. Each time I find a cheap flash I buy it immediately - together with a slave cell.

If you look carefully at the pics- yes the Metz is set to 1/16 of it's possible full output while the Centon is set to full power but no too bad for such a little one- don't you think? It's the perfect output for highlights on hair just to give an example.

Hope this shows how it is possible to use non Sony flashes with Sony cameras and I really hope that the one or other of you will give it a try as it is the cheapest and I think most effective way to get into studio photography!
Stef.
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Simon [aka springtide] on November 17, 2008, 08:31:58 PM
Thanks Stef for this info!

It was a long time ago when I tried this and I couldn't seem to get it to work correctly with my strobes.  I did think it was strange at the time, but assumed that the preflash just occured regardless of the setting!

Anyway, thanks again!

Simon  :)

Oh, a question for you Stef....

BTW, do you use any PW, Cybersync, Skyport, Cactus radio triggers?
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Stef. on November 17, 2008, 08:42:52 PM
Simon- I don't use radio triggers as I never had the slightest hiccup with my beloved slave cells. I don't know how far they work but I can tell you we managed to trigger them when we really did NOT want them to go off. I had once a shooting on a very early morning at a lake to do some stills of the movie Don't Look Now and we were able to trigger all sorts of flashes with these little slave cells half way over and around the lake. I can't tell you how much I would love to urge you all to go and give it a try as it is soo much cheaper! Not that I care that much about money when it comes to good equipment but people seem to be soo afraid of experimenting with flash set ups and it's sooooo easy. I can only repeat just go out and pick up every cheap functioning flash you possibly can but don't forget the slave cells. Also don't forget- you can manually trigger these flashes if your exposure time is long enough. I.e if you want to light an aquarium from Behind- get an assistant to run on the other side of the aquarium- set the exposure time to roughly one second- count loud to three and get your friend to trigger the flash manually while you trigger the camera. Each time I give a lecture regarding flash it seems people are scared of it ???
Anyhow please let me know whether you gave it a try!
Stef.
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Numpty on November 17, 2008, 08:45:25 PM
Thank you very much stef for the very in depth answer.
Just to check i have this right

The sony will work wirelesly with my A300. (i understand this)

Will this http://www.warehouseexpress.com/product/default.aspx?sku=1006117 work on a cheap flash if i use the sony flash so no wires needed?
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Simon [aka springtide] on November 17, 2008, 08:53:44 PM
Simon- I don't use radio triggers as I never had the slightest hiccup with my beloved slave cells. I don't know how far they work but I can tell you we managed to trigger them when we really did NOT want them to go off. I had once a shooting on a very early morning at a lake to do some stills of the movie Don't Look Now and we were able to trigger all sorts of flashes with these little slave cells half way over and around the lake. I can't tell you how much I would love to urge you all to go and give it a try as it is soo much cheaper! Not that I care that much about money when it comes to good equipment but people seem to be soo afraid of experimenting with flash set ups and it's sooooo easy. I can only repeat just go out and pick up every cheap functioning flash you possibly can but don't forget the slave cells. Also don't forget- you can manually trigger these flashes if your exposure time is long enough. I.e if you want to light an aquarium from Behind- get an assistant to run on the other side of the aquarium- set the exposure time to roughly one second- count loud to three and get your friend to trigger the flash manually while you trigger the camera. Each time I give a lecture regarding flash it seems people are scared of it ???
Anyhow please let me know whether you gave it a try!
Stef.

Hi...

One of my main reasons for wanting to switch to Radio triggers is that the IR or slave cells do not work unless there is line of sight. I  have some slave cells and they work fine in most conditions, but not 'blind'.  I also have some Cactus triggers which are better, but again these are somewhat unreliable at long distances or when there is metal etc in the way (even with the 'Cactus Mods')

PW are way out of my price range, so have been looking at the Cybersyncs and Skyports.  Hence the question :)
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Stef. on November 17, 2008, 09:09:37 PM
Thank you very much stef for the very in depth answer.
Just to check i have this right

The sony will work wirelesly with my A300. (i understand this)

Will this http://www.warehouseexpress.com/product/default.aspx?sku=1006117 work on a cheap flash if i use the sony flash so no wires needed?

Numpty I doubt it. The one on Warehouse Express appears to be one that needs to go onto the flash mount of the camera. Now if you look back at the top of this discussion unfortunately you can not mount just any hotshoe mount onto a Sony or Minolta camera. Look point 3) of my very first explanation. Also look at the images that I have posted you can see the slave cells with the little cables which attach directly to your flash. Those ones plus the little cables you can trigger with your on-camera flash. The one on Warehouse Express needs the adapter to configure it in a way so that it "fits" onto your camera. Does this make sense?
Stef.
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Simon [aka springtide] on November 17, 2008, 10:32:41 PM
Hi..

One thing to point out (which I don't think was picked up on the first time around) is there is no manual flash option on the A200/A300/A350 (unlike the A100/A700/A900)

You this is usually found on the A700 at:

Menu Button ->  Camera 1 -> Flash Control

See page 88 :  in the A300 manual:
http://pdf.crse.com/manuals/3287969151.pdf

What this means is that the built-in flash will always do "Preflash" (either ADI or TTL) so can't be used for triggering slaves.

If you want to use optical slaves, you need an FS-1100 (e.g. http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/4-pin-Hot-Shoe-Adapter-for-Sony-A700-A350-as-FS-1100_W0QQitemZ350125727515QQihZ022QQcategoryZ64354QQtcZphotoQQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp1713.m153.l1262) or equiv and a cheap flash for triggering.

Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Numpty on November 17, 2008, 10:34:47 PM
O.K im with you on that only sony and minolta flashes fit on the camera but i thought this fits to the cheap flash and is triggered by my sony flash no?

So what slave cell do i need?
Which lead to the slave cell?
Do the leads go to the slave cell and then to the cheap flash
Or from the slave to the master flash?
Sorry for being a real numpty and a pain.
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Simon [aka springtide] on November 17, 2008, 10:41:24 PM
O.K im with you on that only sony and minolta flashes fit on the camera but i thought this fits to the cheap flash and is triggered by my sony flash no?

So what slave cell do i need?
Which lead to the slave cell?
Do the leads go to the slave cell and then to the cheap flash
Or from the slave to the master flash?
Sorry for being a real numpty and a pain.

OK, so if you want to use slave cells on the A300 (different to the A700!), you need:

1x FS-1100 to fit on top of the camera - to convert to standard ISO flash hotshoe.
1x Cheap flash for attaching on top of the FS-1100
1x Optical trigger like your warehouseexpress item (connection will be through the 'hotshoe', rather than a seperate pc sync cord)
1x Main Flash that attaches on top of the 'Optical Trigger'.

An alternative is:

1x FS-1100 to fit on top of the camera.
1x Pair of 'Radio Triggers' (i.e. http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Wireless-Flash-Trigger-V2s-for-Canon-580EX-II-420EX_W0QQitemZ170278538543QQihZ007QQcategoryZ64354QQtcZphotoQQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp1742.m153.l1262)
1x Main Flash that attaches on top of the 'Radio Trigger Reciever'


Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Numpty on November 17, 2008, 10:41:38 PM
Now i am getting confused.

I will have a sony 36 flash which i can use on or off the camera without buying extras.

If i want more flashes as in what steff has done in the pics can i not buy an optical slave cell with a standard hot shoe fitting which fits another cheap flash and have my sony flash trigger the optical slave cells on any other flashes i might have.

(I only think this as it states on my link that the slave cell can be mounted on a tripod)

Really sorry this must be annoying for you all now.
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Simon [aka springtide] on November 17, 2008, 10:44:12 PM
Now i am getting confused.

I will have a sony 36 flash which i can use on or off the camera without buying extras.

If i want more flashes as in what steff has done in the pics can i not buy an optical slave cell with a standard hot shoe fitting which fits another cheap flash and have my sony flash trigger the optical slave cells on any other flashes i might have.

(I only think this as it states on my link that the slave cell can be mounted on a tripod)

Really sorry this must be annoying for you all now.

NP.  I don't think Stef knows that the A200/A300/A350 doesn't have a 'manual flash' setting.  Her statement is true for the Minolta 7D, Sony A100, Sony A700 & Sony A900 since these cameras do have a 'manual flash' setting.

Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Numpty on November 17, 2008, 10:44:56 PM
Sorry you posted while i was replying and i missed the bit about the preflash ttl and ADI so i now realise i cant trigger optical slaves with my sony flash.
Thank you.
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Simon [aka springtide] on November 17, 2008, 10:47:24 PM
Sorry you posted while i was replying and i missed the bit about the preflash ttl and ADI so i now realise i cant trigger optical slaves with my sony flash.
Thank you.

NP.  I came across this when trying to help someone else with a similar query!  I told them they needed to set the flash to manual, and they told me that there was no 'manual' setting!
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Stef. on November 18, 2008, 12:03:08 AM
Hi..

One thing to point out (which I don't think was picked up on the first time around) is there is no manual flash option on the A200/A300/A350 (unlike the A100/A700/A900)

You this is usually found on the A700 at:

Menu Button ->  Camera 1 -> Flash Control

See page 88 :  in the A300 manual:
http://pdf.crse.com/manuals/3287969151.pdf

What this means is that the built-in flash will always do "Preflash" (either ADI or TTL) so can't be used for triggering slaves.

If you want to use optical slaves, you need an FS-1100 (e.g. http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/4-pin-Hot-Shoe-Adapter-for-Sony-A700-A350-as-FS-1100_W0QQitemZ350125727515QQihZ022QQcategoryZ64354QQtcZphotoQQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp1713.m153.l1262) or equiv and a cheap flash for triggering.

Quote
Quote from: Numpty on Today at 10:44:56 PM
Sorry you posted while i was replying and i missed the bit about the preflash ttl and ADI so i now realise i cant trigger optical slaves with my sony flash.
Thank you.

NP.  I came across this when trying to help someone else with a similar query!  I told them they needed to set the flash to manual, and they told me that there was no 'manual' setting!

No no no- you CAN.
I had also stated- read the second paragraph:
Quote
Sony A700 used with on-board flash to trigger an expensive Metz 45 CL3 flash and an extremely cheap Centon F.G.3.0.D flash (somewhere around $10). In the menu of the A700 I set the flash to manual. Regarding Springtide's comment: If you set it to pre-flash ttl you can trigger the Metz flash but not the cheaper Centon. In other words if you have no manual setting in the A300 or 350 there are still a lot of flashes out there that you can trigger with pre-flash ttl!

You might need to go to the shop and give it a try. The Metz does work with pre-flash but not the Centon.

Quote
O.K im with you on that only sony and minolta flashes fit on the camera but i thought this fits to the cheap flash and is triggered by my sony flash no?

No you can use any flash as long as you use the right adapter for the flash and as long as the voltage is not too high:
See my very first statement for the adapter needed.

Numpty look at my image. Once you buy the slave cell with your flash ask straight away for the little cable that connects  the flash with the cell. When you trigger these cheap flashes with your on-camera flash than you will NOT have a cable connecting your camera with the flashes.

Stef.
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Simon [aka springtide] on November 18, 2008, 10:19:38 AM

Arh, I see what you are saying now Stef..

So the Metz 45 CL3 will work with Pre-flash TTL? [Is this flash a Sony/Minolta specific?  Or is this a generic model?]

I have seen on some of the more expensive strobes, that they have an option for ignoring Pre-flash and firing with the main flash (flash delay, with a slightly slower sync speed than is usually possible), but haven't seen this on the slave triggers for hotshoe flash (would be very useful - for mixing Sony wireless and other hotshoe flashes)
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Simon [aka springtide] on November 18, 2008, 04:14:07 PM
Don't usually reply to my own posts, but look what I found today...

Hot Shoe Slave Flash Trigger for Sony / Konica Minolta flash
http://cgi.ebay.com/Hot-Shoe-Slave-Flash-Trigger-for-Sony-56AM-42AM-36AM_W0QQitemZ190266556966QQihZ009QQcategoryZ64354QQtcZphotoQQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp1713.m153.l1262

I haven't seen one of those before :)
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Stef. on November 18, 2008, 09:12:15 PM
Springtide,

a) Metz flashes are outstanding flashes and are generic- in other words they have nothing to do with Minolta or Sony
b) be very careful with this flash mount. I am not sure whether it is meant to basically mount a Sony flash onto another camera or whether it just means you can mount it onto a Sony camera put the Sony flash on top of it and send the signal. BUT keep in mind you don't need that! It still means that you need to buy the little slave cells and the little cables to attach to your non-Sony flashes. To trigger those flashes as said :set the camera to pre-flash ttl and try to trigger them.
If you have a non-Sony flash why don't you just try the suggested settings from above and play around until it works? If there is a problem just let me know! Keep in mind there are three things you should play with: setting the camera to manual exposure control or it might work in aperture; setting in the camera menu the flash to either manual or pre-flash ttl and playing around with the settings on your particular flash. There is usually a combination of these settings that make it work. As said wireless AND slave cells seem to not work but I will give this one another try.

Stef.
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Simon [aka springtide] on November 18, 2008, 10:41:00 PM

Hi Stef,

Thanks for the reply.

The slave cell I posted looks like it allows a Sony flash to be mounted on top of it (with the ISO hotshoe or screw mount below)

I was thinking that I usually have one flash 'in sight', but it's the occasion where I would like to trigger a flash that is out of sight.  (i.e.  in the car shot, having a flash some distance away with a gel pointing up to give a nice backdrop.)

I can connect my Cactus to the camera PC sync socket (to fire the remote flash 'radio' wirelessly), but use manual flash on the camera to fire my second local flash via the slave trigger when set to manual flash (thanks for that!)

I was thinking what I was trying to do before when I made that incorrect statement about Pre-Flash, and it was trying to use the Sony/Minolta 'wireless function' as well as Strobes triggered via internal slave triggers.

Sorry back to my original thought... 
I was thinking about getting a second FS-1200 and a second Cactus trigger, but the prices of FS-1200 seem to be rising (and going for very silly money!) and it did seem cheaper (and easier longer term) - just to sell one of my 56's for a few triggers and a Nikon/Canon/Metz/anything-powerful-with-a-ISO-hotshoe..... so I'd have one flash to use in full ADI/Pre-TTL mode and the two flashes to use tirelessly in full manual mode when I want to be more creative.

I am a bit of a techno head, so although frustrated with the Sony/Minolta flash system - I do like the challenge of trying to find the right bits to get a workable and flexable system.

Anyway, thanks for the info.  BTW, are those Metz 'Hammerheads' easy to mount on a tripod with an umbrella?
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Stef. on November 19, 2008, 12:50:04 AM
Quote
Anyway, thanks for the info.  BTW, are those Metz 'Hammerheads' easy to mount on a tripod with an umbrella?

Yes extremly easy. I do this all the time. I repeat myself: get yourself some slave cells and try out how far they reach. ALSO: the cable that connects these slave cells to the flash can be longer than the ones shown in the picture. So you could hide the flash in the car and the slave cell on the outside of the car. Just a thought.
Stef.
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: REX (aka TG) on November 19, 2008, 03:35:08 PM
Hello Stef

if i put on a700 a HVL-F58 and off camera wireless HVL-F56 - HVL-F36 will they fire also , or only with the pop up flash is possible?

I dint mean radio control just wireless.
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Stef. on November 19, 2008, 08:59:47 PM
As far as I can tell from the F58 manual and from my testing: if you use the F58 ON camera you can only control the following two flashes: antoher F58 flash and/or the HVL-F42AM.
You can control though the 58 with your built-in flash including using ratio.
Stef.
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: REX (aka TG) on November 20, 2008, 03:45:26 PM
Hello Stef on page 59 if you go to the logging radio:DSLR-A700-off-camera flash hvlf58/42-->controller hvlf58 Note*4

Note*4 says on 6th paragraph: "When using hvlf56am/36am as off camera flash select this mode.When you change the controller,set [C03] in the custom setting (page 74)"

Page 74 says {CTRL2] mode:[CTRL]. Does it mean that it can work like i metion before  or is a printing mistake? The reason that i ask you, is that you are the only one i know that have the A700+58am and other flashes. I don't have this flash so i can not make this test.

Thanks
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Numpty on November 20, 2008, 07:26:00 PM
Received my "36" today very happy with it just 1 question ADI and TTL what is the difference and which should i use for what situations?
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: JimA on November 20, 2008, 07:34:40 PM
TTL = through the lens - back in the film days the camera sensor looked at the film, and cut the flash off when it had had enough. Unfortunately digital sensors don't relect light well so modern TTL works on a pre flash which makes the measurement

ADI - automatic distance intergration If you are photographng a girl 5 feet away and a car 10 feet away which do you expose for ?
if your camera and lens both have ADI then the flash will expose for the one that you have focussed on

Personally I use the sensor on my Metz!

I find preflash a pain and the alpha100 ADI ain't great
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Stef. on November 20, 2008, 10:49:55 PM
Hello Stef on page 59 if you go to the logging radio:DSLR-A700-off-camera flash hvlf58/42-->controller hvlf58 Note*4

Note*4 says on 6th paragraph: "When using hvlf56am/36am as off camera flash select this mode.When you change the controller,set [C03] in the custom setting (page 74)"

The original question was to use the 58 ON camera as the controller and when doing this than you can only use it in connection with another 58 or 42. Read this carefully again. On your page it says exactly what you can use the A700 with and this is limited. You can contorl though the other flashes with the incamera flash. I would love you to prove me wrong though ;)
Stef.

Page 74 says {CTRL2] mode:[CTRL]. Does it mean that it can work like i metion before  or is a printing mistake? The reason that i ask you, is that you are the only one i know that have the A700+58am and other flashes. I don't have this flash so i can not make this test.

Thanks
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: REX (aka TG) on November 21, 2008, 09:28:02 AM
Thank you Stef for the confermation so it make sense now the a900 have more advantages vs a700 in flash capital
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Stef. on November 21, 2008, 07:01:46 PM
I have no idea what happened to my above post??? I did write a long answer and not just a quote??? Help!
Anyhow in a nutshell: I was trying to say in my last post: the A700 with ON-board mounting of the 58 can ONLY trigger either another 58 or 42 Sony flash NO other flashes including NO other Sony flashes in wireless mode. If you want to trigger any other Sony flash models with the A700 you NEED to use the in-camera flash.
It is a bit confusingly explained in the manual but that is what appears to be the case.

TG is you read the page before the one you quote here you will see the A700 specifically singled out. There is a little box particularly written for the A700!
Stef.
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Alan on November 21, 2008, 08:28:56 PM
I despise pre-flash.

With my Maxxum 7d the interval between the preflash and the exposure seems precisely calibrated to avoid red eye - because when the subjects eyes are closed, there is no red eye!!!

I wish that the flash units would have sensors in them.  Not ideal, but better than pre-flash or ADI.

Often, for parties or other gatherings, I set the flash manually for a certain distance, do a check shot and then shoot at that distance and aperture only.  Consistency at least.  (f/8, ISO 400 and be there...)

Perhaps with the a900 the above will improve (I'm still on the 5600HD) and in no mood to spend on another flash.  I'd rather buy more studio lights.

Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Stef. on November 21, 2008, 10:48:06 PM
There is a difference between the pre-flash for red-eye reduction and the pre ttl setting in the flash menu. It is not the same pre-flash or all strobes would fire!
Stef.
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: dominicall on December 09, 2008, 04:04:22 PM
OK - this is probably a question that Stef could answer without even thinking about it, but if anyone else can answer that's great.

With the 700 I was firing the 58 and 42 from the 700's onboard flash.  Obviously I no longer have that option with the 900.  Stef mentioned this Minolta lead - Minolta OC-1100 - which I'm assuming the Sony equivalent is this on Amazon (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sony-FA-CC1AM-Connection-Remote-Shooting/dp/B000JKX8H8). My question is, using either that lead, or this alternative (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sony-FA-MC1AM-Multi-Flash-Camera/dp/B000JKT3O0), will the 58 fire the 42 wirelessly?  Also, if using the 58 as the master using either of these cables, would I then be able to still use ratio control?

Thanks all for looking.

Dominic
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Simon [aka springtide] on December 09, 2008, 04:52:37 PM
Hi

OK, one the camera side you need a cable that attaches to the hotshoe, and on the other the four pin connector.
As you posted: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sony-FA-CC1AM-Connection-Remote-Shooting/dp/B000JKX8H8

This basically just extends the hotshoe while then allows you to fire the other flash wirelessly as normal.

And you can extend these cables using:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sony-FA-EC1AM-Extension-Cable-Camera/dp/B000JKV7MQ/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1228841485&sr=1-3

Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Stef. on December 09, 2008, 04:54:26 PM
Springtide summarised it. Yes is the answer. Once the 58 is connected via cable to the A900 is work as if it would be on the hotshoe.
Here is a picture where I have done it the other day:
http://www.dynaxdigital.com/index.php/topic,7573.msg59495.html#msg59495 (http://www.dynaxdigital.com/index.php/topic,7573.msg59495.html#msg59495)
Stef.
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: dominicall on December 09, 2008, 05:15:46 PM
Thanks Simon and Stef

I wasn't sure whether I needed the cable that goes on the hotshoe or the one that just plugs into the sync socket.

More shopping then - LOL.

Dominic
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: chappo1 on January 23, 2009, 06:45:48 AM
I have read this thread through a few times and it has been terrific for upping my scanty knowledge of flash.
I bought an F58 for my A700 and was offered a couple of Minolta 3200i units.  After reading what I could and taking some advice, I opted not to buy them but they (and a 7000i camera) were then thrown in the deal for other bits I bought for free so now I own them.  If I am prepared to regulate the output via distance, diffusers and flags can I trigger them from the F58 by purchasing the little optical slave units Stef mentions or will I have to buy an adapter to trigger by cable?
I do not want to buy the gear and find it does not work...john

 
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Bill on January 23, 2009, 12:40:45 PM
Apparently, the 58 will only trigger the 42, and in some situations, the older 56 and 36.  You would have to search the net and look for 58AM not triggering wireless.  I have read about its incompatabilities, but never worried too much because I don't own one.  For this reason, I can't be too much more helpful.

Bill
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Stef. on January 23, 2009, 06:47:50 PM
Chappo1- I need to try this out as I have never tried slave cells in connection with Sony flashes only with third party flashes. I can pretty much tell you now that you do need the adapter to connect the slave cell to the flash! Will confirm later on today.
Stef.
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Stef. on January 23, 2009, 08:13:40 PM
Chappo1- these are my findings:

1. To the best of my knowledge I don't see a way to attach a slave cell to any of the Sony/Minolta flashes I have. Not sure about the 3200i though.
2. But if you have any other third party flash- here is what you need to do and this works either with the 58 or indeed any other Sony flash mounted on the hotshoe of the camera or linked via cable to the hotshoe:

(a) set the flash do normal flash and NOT wireless
(b) set the flash to manual (not ttl!) => you can then regulate the output of the 58 directly on the flash by going down with the flash output to i.e 1/32 if you want
(c) take you photo

-> overall exposure can then be regulated by flash distance to subject and by manually controlling the output of the 58.

Bill: with the help of slave cells the 58 can trigger any other flash but Sony/Minolta!

Hope this helps and should somebody find a way how to connect a slave cell to a Sony/Minolta flash I would be very grateful if you could let us know.
Stef.
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Alan on January 23, 2009, 08:20:55 PM
There is a difference between the pre-flash for red-eye reduction and the pre ttl setting in the flash menu. It is not the same pre-flash or all strobes would fire!
Stef.

You misunderstood what I meant.  The pre-flash is perfectly timed such that people blink and their eyes are CLOSED when the exposure flash goes off.  This has happened to me with the Maxxum 7D more times than I care to count!

Cheers,
Alan.
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: chappo1 on January 23, 2009, 09:17:16 PM
Bill and Stef thanks for your help. From the images that Stef posted earlier in this thread I figured that I needed an FS-1200 type adapter and either cable or slave cells for each unit and, by the time I convert to Oz dollar and pay delivery, it is not a cheap solution.  Still one could live in hope, it gets a bit warm when I turn on my three builder's grade quartz lamps for light tent shoots....john
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Stef. on January 23, 2009, 09:23:42 PM
Chappo1- sorry for repeating this: the slave cells DO NOT work with the Sony flashes. Get yourself any other cheap flash and a slave cell (costs together probably less than $25) and go and give it a try.
Stef.
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: chappo1 on January 23, 2009, 09:55:05 PM
Thanks Stef...missed that bit first time around...john
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: chappo1 on March 02, 2009, 09:27:26 AM
Chappo1- sorry for repeating this: the slave cells DO NOT work with the Sony flashes. Get yourself any other cheap flash and a slave cell (costs together probably less than $25) and go and give it a try.
Stef.
Stef,
I am going to try your patience.  I have read around and re-read this thread.
Why cannot I use either this (http://www.gadgetinfinity.com/imagefile/dicflaadaslas_1.jpg)  or this  (http://www.gadgetinfinity.com/imagefile/dicflaada1200_1.jpg) with cable connection from the 58AM to trigger 3200i units?
I know you said it cannot be done but it would help me if I knew why.
john
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: winjeel on March 02, 2009, 10:33:55 AM
I haven't looked back at the previous discussion, but I'll take a stab (at least until Stef looks in). Sony / Minolta flashes are too advanced for any other flashes. Other flashes receive a single electrical pulse to trip the switch to fire them. Whereas the Sony / Minolta system uses a kind of morse code to communicate flash strength, time, and duration. This morse code uses a main flash to communicate this to the other flashes, to you, it'll look like a pre-flash firing sequence shortly before the shutter opens. This looks like a red-eye reduction feature, but it's actually communicating. With the Minolta A9 (aka Dynax 9) you could designate which flash will fire first, designate each for how long , and strength. That camera was released in 1998-ish, and it's a feature that I think hasn't been replicated (and some have complained that other cameras haven't had that feature, though I don't think anyone here has).

Anyway, long story short, you can't mix flashes, as the other flashes aren't intelligent enough to understand morse code and will fire prematurely.
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Simon [aka springtide] on March 02, 2009, 11:10:26 AM
Chappo1- sorry for repeating this: the slave cells DO NOT work with the Sony flashes. Get yourself any other cheap flash and a slave cell (costs together probably less than $25) and go and give it a try.
Stef.
Stef,
I am going to try your patience.  I have read around and re-read this thread.
Why cannot I use either this (http://www.gadgetinfinity.com/imagefile/dicflaadaslas_1.jpg)  or this  (http://www.gadgetinfinity.com/imagefile/dicflaada1200_1.jpg) with cable connection from the 58AM to trigger 3200i units?
I know you said it cannot be done but it would help me if I knew why.
john


FYI - I know that the 56's work with the above you have posted (as I have both and have tested)

The optical slave works fine, and the other I use for triggering the flashes with my Syport radio triggers (and Cactus triggers before I got the Skyports)

I have also tested the second adapter (FS-1200 type) triggering one flash via the pc sync socket connected to my Skyports, and a KM 4 pin cable from one flash to the other - which works

I have a 5400HS on it's way, which I can test once it arrives.
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Stef. on March 02, 2009, 05:13:43 PM
Chappo- if you want to buy an adapter for the particular hotshoe of the Sony flashes to trigger them in wireless mode than this might work. I can't tell you wether or not as I do it the other way around:
I trigger all my Sony flashes in wireless mode AND do mix them with non-Sony flashes. This is the cheaper version to the one you suggest. All the non-Sony Flashes have a slave cell attached and the Sony flashes obviously not. You can mix any amount of Sony and non Sony flashes in any combination and trigegr them all when the camera is set to wireless mode. By now we have quite a few threads regarding this issue. I post here once more an answer I have sent to somebody on this forum:

Generally speaking there are three methods of triggering flashes wireless:
(a) with Sony flashes you can use the wireless setting on the camera and flashes. You need to be careful which flashes you use as not all flashes can be triggered i.e. by the HVL-F58AM flash. The onboard flash as far as I can tell can pretty much trigger any Sony flash. So that's the wireless mode in connection with Sony flashes.
(b) wireless with slave cells: Now here it gets interesting: (1) Some flashes i.e. the Metz one can be used in wireless mode (by setting the camera to wireless!) in conjunction with Sony flashes!!! (2) Others i.e the Centon does NOT work when you set the camera to wireless flash mode but you HAVE to set the camera to "normal" flash.

Technically speaking you can buy ANY cheap flash out there. By that I mean seriously any one. I have i.e very cheap Centon ones (about 10pounds max each)/ Metz; and plenty of others. The only important thing is that you need for that either a flash sync cable that goes into a little hole in the flash or you buy yourself an adapter that you can attach to the bottom of the flash on which you then attach you slave cell. Or the newer ones see the link below don't need cables and these little eyes but are attached to the bottom of the flash.
See pictures below.

Pay attention to the Metz one: it does come with the cable but you have to buy the little so called "eye"/ "slave trigger"

My advice would be: go to the next best camera shop buy your self the cheapest flashes you can get WITH either adapter (pic below) and or cable plus "eye" and then go and experiment. The people in the shop will hopefully know what you need for your particular flash to be able to trigger it.

Why Metz? Why Centon? Or indeed any other cheaper brands?
The Metz flashes are usually extremely powerful - that means you need space and have to shoot through plastic bags/ diffusers particularly when shooting close ups. So if you intend to shoot a weding shoot with lot's of people and you want to illuminate whole groups of people than something like the Metz is fanastic. Also for interior architecture shots the Metz is unbeatable. Building quality of the Metz is outstanding. Not sure how often I have dropped mine- nothing ever happened. I sincerely believe you can use them as a hammer.

Something that is much cheaper such as Centon flashes or anything similar is particularly useful when you are shooting close ups or just want highlights on the hair and so on. They have muich weaker output which is sometimes actually important.

Let's assume you would go outside into your garage with a Metz flash and would like to shoot a moddy shot of your car with very controlled illumination? Forget the Metz- you will have to soo diffuse the flash and still your whole garage would look like it is flooded in light. or such occassions you would take 4/5/6... or more cheap flashes (all together cost you under 100 pounds) and would put them strategically around your car. They are much easier to control than one single Metz. So you see horses for courses.

Now to just come back to one point above: some flashes can be used in conjunction with the Sony flashes in wireless mode which is fantastic. The other way around I don't know yet as this would mean to set the camera to "normal" flash and attach some kind of triiger to the Sony flashes. I very much assume one would have to buy an expensive trigger to be able to trigger the Sony flashes outside the wireless mode and frankly theother way around is probably cheaper- dependng on how many flashes you want to buy.

I tend to buy any functioning flash that I come across and get a slave cell (Jessops has them) plus cable.
Here is one unit you can use without buying the cable- mine looks different as it is older!:

http://www.jessops.com/online.store/categories/Accessories/Flash/Slave%20Units/products/Jessops/Minicell%20Slave%20Universal-9094/Show.html
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3034/3250619009_b9757d702e_o.jpg)

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3478/3251446134_826f8bcaec_o.jpg)

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3517/3251446034_5e62bf9dc3_o.jpg)

Hope this helps?
Stef.
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Simon [aka springtide] on March 03, 2009, 09:51:37 AM

John/Chappo1,

Just a FYI, all that Stef has posted above is 'The Bible'.  The same thing applies to your 3200i as the Centon flashes, as I believe the Metz (and some of the Nikon flashes) if triggered via optical slaves can be 'told' to ignore pre-flash (sometimes called 'delay' I think).
So replace 'Centon' with '3200i', and use the Ebay adapters you posted rather than the ones Stef's listed (as they have a different mount) and you are good to go.

I did see a post from a Sony user on another forum that stated they had found a optical trigger for the Sony mount that had a switchable 'delay' on/off switch, but I can't find the post.  He did find on Ebay I believe.

Also note that the 3200i do not have any manual settings, meaning when you do trigger them they will fire at full power which may or many not be limiting.  I guess it depends on what you want to do with them.

As Stef stated, if you are firing them remotely then you are not limited to Minolta flashes.  I have the 'Strobist.com' DVD and they recommend the Nikon SB24, SB26, SB28 & SB80's - which I believe have optical slaves built in.  The problem that I have found with the Nikon, Canon and even Metz flashes (although Metz not so much), is that the 'Strobist Revolution' are buying these up and are pushing up prices.

I haven't looked that much at the Metz flash, but I was slightly put off by the physical size.  They are as Stef pointed out built to last, but for me I wanted to be able to mount hotshoe flashes with portable softboxes (like the Ezybox hotshoe), umbrellas, snoots, grids etc - which are all possible with the Metz flashes but would require working out a different mount than with my 56's.  Personal preference, but I like the idea that all my flash accessories are interchangeable.  If you don't require this, the Metz hammerheads look very interesting.

I know nothing about the Centon flashes, as in how powerful and controllable they are (i.e.  what their GN is and how much they can be dialed down to reduce power).  On that note that is one thing that I do find with the Sony/KM flashes, is that although they have a high output power they will only do a minimum of 1/32 power, where as some of the 'Strobist' Nikon flashes above will go down to 1/64 or 1/128 power.  The way around this is to use other methods (as Stef pointed out) to reduce power, but not as quick as a couple of clicks on the back of the flash.  Not that some of the very cheap flashes might only do manual down to 1/8 power.  Just worth pointing out.

I've been looking around and the old Minolta flashes that are not compatible with the digital KM/Sony system are dirt cheap.  There was a 5400HS on Dyxum for $80.   On Ebay, £20 for the old 4000AF (which used the standard hotshoe mount, but is a bit old now - and the one I got I killed!).  I just picked up from a shop a 5400HS in the UK 5400SH for £65 including a warranty for 6 months.   The thing that puts people off these flashes and using them off camera aka 'Strobist Style' is the hotshoe mount, which I think is keeping prices low.  $80 for a GN54 flash, with full manual control, modeling light, 1/1-1/32 power - is fantastic VFM IMO.  I have now got a few of the Ebay 'FS-1200' hotshoe adapters (with pc sync input) and the Ebay 'Optical Slaves' (like you posted) and these work perfectly.  A few months ago before these were available I was ready to 'throw in the towel' with the Sony/Minolta flashes and the non standard hotshoe (sorry the 'Minolta standard hotshoe'), but now the FS-1200/Optical adapters are available I'm now very happy.

Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Stef. on March 03, 2009, 10:52:47 PM
Quote
I haven't looked that much at the Metz flash, but I was slightly put off by the physical size.  They are as Stef pointed out built to last, but for me I wanted to be able to mount hotshoe flashes with portable softboxes (like the Ezybox hotshoe), umbrellas, snoots, grids etc - which are all possible with the Metz flashes but would require working out a different mount than with my 56's.  Personal preference, but I like the idea that all my flash accessories are interchangeable.  If you don't require this, the Metz hammerheads look very interesting.

Just one thing regarding the Metz flashes: they come with a braket that lets you mount them onto any tripod. No extra cost involved!
Stef.
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: chappo1 on March 03, 2009, 11:28:14 PM
Thanks Simon and Stef.  I will order the two optical slaves and give them a go as I have 2 3200i's.

I am familiar with the laws of physics and light so reckon I can adjust the intensity with distance and diffusers if I can get them to fire.
Successful or not I will post the results on this thread in case others are interested.....john
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: fother on March 03, 2009, 11:33:53 PM

Just one thing regarding the Metz flashes: they come with a braket that lets you mount them onto any tripod. No extra cost involved!
Stef.

That's worth knowing - save a few extra $$ along the way!

Thanks Simon and Stef.  I will order the two optical slaves and give them a go as I have 2 3200i's.

I am familiar with the laws of physics and light so reckon I can adjust the intensity with distance and diffusers if I can get them to fire.
Successful or not I will post the results on this thread in case others are interested.....john

Please do!!

by the way, I have a few of those gadget infinity sensor/hotshoe adaptors (the one shown below), to put remote flashes onto stands - and they work very well
(http://www.gadgetinfinity.com/imagefile/dicflaadaslas_1.jpg)
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: chappo1 on March 15, 2009, 05:20:50 AM
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3647/3354973013_6e1db6ba83.jpg?v=0)

Not a top quality image but the light is coming from the rear minolta 3200i.
Settings first and if any of the knowledgeable folk think I can do it a better way please say so.
The camera (a700) is set to manual flash with the on board flash set to 1/16 and flash compensation at -3.
The flash also has a piece of plastic over it to further reduce the direct light.

I took a shot with the remote flash off to confirm that it was poorly lit.
The synch speed of the 3200i is 1/125 so I set the camera to shutter priority and 1/125 sec and allowed it to choose aperture (f4).
I then turned on the 3200i and took the above shot.
Thanks to Stef, Fother and all the other contributors I have it sort of working.
but and it is a BIG BUT...
The clever Minolta engineers designed the flash so that if it is not triggered within 5 seconds it goes to sleep and when on board is revived by the camera.
Well it is not on the camera  and, unless I can come up with something cleverer than the above engineers, I only have 5 seconds after turning it on.
At first I could not understand why it fired sometimes and not others.  Finally I had to read the instructions !!

Now that it works I have to try and turn it into useful light.......john
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: quest on April 07, 2009, 04:26:20 PM
After reading this thread,
Am I correct to say that we can't trigger 58 flash off camera in manual mode ?

Setup:
a700 on-board flash set to manual.
58 flash off camera set to manual.

I'm trying to trigger both 58 and optical slave studio light with a700 on-board flash.
In order to trigger studio light I need to put camera flash in manual mode.

It will be nice if 58 can operate as an optical slave flash...

Thanks.
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: chappo1 on April 07, 2009, 11:43:44 PM
I have a 58AM and have just re-tested and you are correct, I cannot get it to fire with the A700 in manual flash mode.
It will of course fire with one of the little optical slave units (I bought for the Minolta 3200is) attached.  This is a relatively inexpensive solution...john
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: jasonc on September 16, 2009, 12:59:11 PM
If its the Sony Alpha HVLF36AM Flash Gun
you can fire it via  wireless connection. By changing the position and flash comp settings on your camera you should get a better result.
Jason
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: Stef. on November 18, 2009, 10:09:01 PM
Very good off camera flash site:
http://sandyjmacdonald.wordpress.com/ (http://sandyjmacdonald.wordpress.com/)

Stef.
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: chappo1 on November 19, 2009, 01:06:13 AM
Thanks Stef, looks like some good links to products.  (I have this thread monitored to improve my flask knowledge)...john
Title: Re: More annoying flash questions
Post by: keith_h on June 07, 2010, 03:02:03 AM
(http://www.heinrich.id.au/gallery2/d/49004-1/PICT1492.jpg)

I tried wireless and found the results too unpredictable. This setup works just fine every time. I hope that helps the OP.

(http://www.heinrich.id.au/gallery2/d/49010-1/PICT5244.jpg)